Undoubtedly, cosmetic procedures and plastic surgeries are becoming more and more common these days, and are no longer the exclusive domain for the rich and famous. I’ve made no secret of the cosmetic procedures that I’ve had, and in the next couple of years I plan to have my nose surgically enhanced.
The topic of having cosmetic procedures and plastic surgeries abroad is somewhat controversial. Since all the procedures I’ve had so far have been done overseas (Malaysia and Taiwan), here are my two cents.
Note: I can only speak for the Asian countries here – I know there are options in Brazil and Mexico, but I’ve never been there so cannot comment on them.
There are plenty of top-notch cosmetic/plastic facilities in Asia
I can’t help but feel that straight off the bat comments saying it’s dangerous to have cosmetic/plastic procedures in Asia, are racist. It undermines the education system in those countries, since it by default is saying that the doctors/nurses there would have no idea what they’re doing. Beyond that, it’s also insinuating that the people who have built the facilities are equally clueless.
I have been to the Bumrungrad International Hospital, a very popular choice for plastic surgery, in Thailand. And I can tell you that it is a five-star, private hospital unlike any other hospitals I’ve ever seen, covering EVERY area of medicine beyond plastic surgery. Mr Ronan had some teeth work done there, and he couldn’t praise the efficiency and quality of care more.
Of course, there would be places and practitioners that are substandard, just like there would be in Australia. This is where you need to do your research. Look at their official website, check their doctors’ credentials, and utilise forums/blogs to get as much information as possible.
But why so cheap?
The cheaper costs of cosmetic/plastic procedures in Asia is clearly a big part of the attraction, and it was for me too. Generally it’s 1/2 if not 1/3 of the price here in Australia, which means it’s actually cheaper to fly over to Asia and have a holiday at the same time.
Does cheap = nasty? Definitely not. We forget how ridiculously expensive everything is in Australia – think identical beauty products that retail for 1/2 the price overseas. So the same supplies utilised in cosmetic/plastic procedures would be cheaper, as is labour.
I was also told that since the demand for cosmetic procedure is so high in Taiwan, there is a lot more competition in terms of supply, which pulls the price down (macroeconomics, I knew you’d come in handy one day!) But make sure that you go to a reputable hospital/clinic, and that they use branded supplies eg. Restylane. And if certain clinics’ prices are dirt cheap by Asia standards (which you should know through research), then AVOID them.
Hold up…. hold up! I did say that cosmetic/plastic procedures are safe in Asia, but I didn’t say it’s the perfect option in every case. The main thing to consider – is the recovery time required for the procedure you are wanting.
I refer to recovery time as the total amount of time required for 90%+ of the swelling to subside. And you should remain in that country for that entire time, with your trip planned around your procedure’s post-op care.
Why? Because post-op care is even more important than the procedure itself. First of all, there are certain things you should and should not do after every procedure. For example, after a boob job there should be no lifting, no strenuous exercise for at least a few weeks, and daily massage for at least 3 months. So the whole idea of going to Thailand for a boob job, sightseeing and dancing/drinking the nights away then coming back after 2 weeks, is out of the question (you shouldn’t even be lifting your arms, let alone carrying luggages). Secondly, you should be going back to the clinic for post-op check-up; once for cosmetic procedures, and at least twice for plastic surgeries.
So that cuts down a lot of procedures doesn’t it? It sure does, and was one of the reasons I decided against having a boob job in Thailand a few years ago. After a year of research, I realised that in order to minimise the risk of something going wrong, I should really remain in Thailand for 6 months, which is clearly impossible for me to do. Even with the simple filler/botox procedures I’ve had, it takes 2 weeks for all swelling to subside, and I went back for check up after a week.
As mentioned before, I researched for more than a year for a boob job which in the end decided against. I also researched for about 6 months prior to my first non-surgical nose enhancement. In my research, I made sure that I know everything about the procedure itself, the supplies/materials to be used, the clinics, AND picked the doctors.
For this reason I don’t see a need to go through an overseas cosmetics/plastic procedure agent, as you should have all the information you need to book it yourself. Furthermore, I want to ensure that I get all the attention from the doctor, and not at all interested to be one of the people dumped from a bus and into a production line.
Don’t speak the language? Then forget about it! It’s imperative to communicate with the doctor YOURSELF, to ensure that he/she knows exactly what you want and that you fully understand what to expect.
I can fully recommend the level of expertise and care of cosmetic/plastic procedures in Asia. However any decision in getting it done, needs to be carefully thought out and researched, regardless of location.
The whole point of getting cosmetic/plastic procedure is to make yourself look better, so it makes sense to put in the time and effort to make sure it doesn’t make you look worse right?
Note: Images from Vogue Girl Korea Dec 2011 “Injured Girls Party” feature, which may or may not be about how plastic surgery is so prevalent in Korea
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